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if I were me
Sometime after I ran away from home last week--which was as much a reaction to carrying on during spring break at a department of a large university that leans heavily on student assistants as though the students were not gone, as it was a reaction to finishing the latest draft of this Difficult Sophomore Novel--I realized that yes, I'm just going to have to let Some Things Slide.

And one of those Some Things is very probably the notion that I will someday catch up on things. (Less capitalized things there.)

Dayjob accounts for 29.7% of my time, between actual work, commuting, and lunch hour. I can reclaim 3% of my time for socializing or writing (lunch hour), but it would be generous to suspect that I really do, since a great deal of my lunch hour "socializing" is spent with work mates talking about work. In productive ways, even. I can reclaim another 3% (the commutes) for entertainment, as I usually absorb a podcast or an audiobook during these times, though, just as often, I'm devising strategies for work and singing at the top of my lungs. In any case, it's ironclad that this time is spent away from home and fairly rigidly split amongst these possibilities.

I also answer work email from home a fair amount, much to my husband's horror, but you know. That's what exempt status really means, right? Though this tallies to much less than 3% of my time. Probably more like 1%.

Sleep accounts for 28% of my time, which is down from 38% of my time pre-CPAP machine. So, hallelujah, time-saving device, though that's not what your true or intended purpose is. But the fact is, with fully oxygenated sleep, I rarely bank past 7 hours a night. I just--don't need to sleep anymore. I zonk out when I'm tired--and the Wall is much less negotiable now that I have proper sleep hygiene--but at the same time, I inevitably wake up 6.5-6.7 hours later, alert if not bright-eyed, and 98% of the time unwilling and unable to sleep again until the Wall comes bearing down again about 17 or 18 hours later. Miraculous.

So, another 6% of my time (if I'm low-balling it) relates to eating or planning to eat. As the main cook of the house, it's my task to get everything in the Sphere of Food accomplished, even if it's planning out a meal for someone else to execute. I get occasional, hard-won input from husband or child, but... So yeah, 10.5 hours a week is definitely low for food, but it's hard to sort that out.

I spend a mere 2% of my time on exercise. I'm working to increase that.

So, just 34% of my my life is left. Let's say... 4% to grooming. Down to 30%. During the low ebb of writing, that absorbs 8% of my time; high ebb, it's more like 20%. Sometimes 30%, when the deadlines are bearing down. Sometimes more.

That leaves 10 to 22% of my life, i.e. 2-5 hours a day (except we all know there's more time on weekends and less on weekdays), which is supposed to cover: being a friend, being a wife, being a stepmother, keeping house, putting away laundry, paying bills, taking care of finances, taking care of pets, meditation, reading for pleasure, seeing movies, watching television, calling my mother, answering fan mail, any hobbies I might want to acquire, relating to extended family, marketing books, attending conventions, and, you know, any sort of volunteer activities I might ever want to undertake. All of which has its own jumble of priorities, but too often get sorted out in crisis mode. No wonder I feel like I am failing at everything.

So, when people say, "Did you see Neil Gaiman's blog?" and I heave a surly "NO, I DIDN'T" or when people say, "Didn't you get my Facebook inbox message?" and I apologize, or when people ask why I don't keep up with an obviously superior TV show and I have to gibber and explain that if I'm going to watch TV, it's going to be a quick 22 minutes that make me laugh, not a lengthy 44 that make me think or cry... this would be a good time to just give me a hug, and not try and debate why I'm letting Some Things Slide.

It would also NOT be a good time to question why I'm spending 5% of that day's free time on Pinterest. If that happens, it's I don't have the brain capacity left for more than pinning pretty pictures. I am not one of those people who can dominate in three spheres (or more!); who can go from dayjob to writing night to demanding hobby and to second demanding hobby and not break a sweat. At best, I can pull a solid B+ in my double major, and otherwise, I'm just going to have to take the C on the rest of the core curriculum, and get an F, a W or an I on everything else.

Um. This was actually supposed to be a witty breakdown of how I spend my time, but mostly, it's just become a breakdown in every other sense of the word.

Sorry about that.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Mar. 6th, 2012 04:27 am (UTC)
Totally understandable. Time is one of those commodities that there's never enough of.
dichroic
Mar. 6th, 2012 08:46 am (UTC)
*virtual hug*

I'm assuming you've already worked out a fair division of labor with the other people in the house, so that when you do all the cooking it's because they're doing other mutually-beneficial stuff. If not, they need to step up!
merriehaskell
Mar. 6th, 2012 11:29 am (UTC)
Oh, for sure. Laundry is 100% my husband--I always have clean clothes. (And other things, but I find not having to think about clothes well worth the trade.)

Edited at 2012-03-06 12:58 pm (UTC)
stephanieburgis
Mar. 6th, 2012 12:30 pm (UTC)
*HUGS*

There have been moments when Pinterest has been the only thing that saved my sanity and made me calm again. Taking that decompressing time (ohhhh lovely pictures) is DEFINITELY not just a worthwhile but even a necessary part of any schedule.
j_cheney
Mar. 6th, 2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
Sometimes when I'm writing, I stop and play a game of solitaire. My husband understands that there are times I have to step away and shake my thoughts into order. I suspect Pinterest is the same thing. (I'm just not using it much...)
stillnotbored
Mar. 6th, 2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
...this would be a good time to just give me a hug, and not try and debate why I'm letting Some Things Slide.

This. This is my life in a nutshell. I can work and write, or I can do all that other stuff.

I dream of ditching the dayjob so there is room for other things.
Lawrence Kapture
Mar. 6th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
I thought it was hilarious...
Though I am sure it is the WRONG ANSWER. However, it entertained me because I feel it so deeply.
maribou
Mar. 6th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Oof, oof. I'm in school, and working full-time, and feel similarly about life. Agreed that letting things slide is the thing we have to embrace.
adsistla
Mar. 6th, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
*Hugs*
You can only do as much as you can do. Even if you scurry to and fro there's always always always something that is left undone, and that's okay. Sometimes something like Pinterest is just hitting the refresh button for your mind.
cathshaffer
Mar. 6th, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
Bringing you a blanket. Leading you gently off stage.
merriehaskell
Mar. 6th, 2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, god, am I covered in pig's blood?
cathshaffer
Mar. 6th, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, goodness. That is not what I was thinking at all. Unfortunately, the internet is failing to provide me with the proper cultural reference. I am thinking of a very famous pop performer who would get overwrought on stage. Either once or more than once there was a performance where the exhausted himself so much with the performance that someone appeared from backstage and put a blanket over his shoulders to lead him off. I thought this was Little Richard, but I can't find any reference to it. I believe it was a black pop singer of the 60's, but I now realize my knowledge of this is totally apocryphal and I may have been confusing people with it for decades without realizing it.
merriehaskell
Mar. 7th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
...I was mostly kidding. :)

James Brown?
cathshaffer
Mar. 7th, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
Ah, it was James Brown! It was a cape, not a blanket. The "cape routine."
dendrophilous
Mar. 7th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
I had a conversation with someone at work today about crafting, in which I said that I want to pull out my bin of stuff and get rid of everything I'm never going to do. She said I could always make time for it. No, I really can't, not unless someone gives me a time machine. We really can't do everything. Stuff has to slide, and honestly I think you've been one of the most on-top-of-things people I know for a long time.



merriehaskell
Mar. 7th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC)
honestly I think you've been one of the most on-top-of-things people I know for a long time.

I AM SAD FOR EARTH.

:)
dendrophilous
Mar. 7th, 2012 02:50 am (UTC)
I suppose you might have been faking it well. Or, you know, I might just be comparing to myself.
mechaieh
Mar. 7th, 2012 02:33 am (UTC)
I cycled through a variation of this just a few hours ago. Because yes, x and y are really fine actors and I realize that I'm really missing out by not having seen their movies, and same with books e and f, and shows j and k, but the dog hasn't sprouted opposable thumbs and I'd be the one hauling her to the vet or the exorcist if she did, so.

Which is to say, I hear ya. And hugs.
behindpyramids
Mar. 7th, 2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
*hug*

Last year I made a chart of where every minute when and sort of went boweghowe.

You've got one life. Let the slidey things slide. You won't regret it when you're eighty!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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